How to Use the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire’s $200 Flight Credit


The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a premium credit card that comes with a host of benefits, including Hilton Diamond status, a free reward night (with the opportunity to earn two additional nights) and a $400 Hilton resort credit.

As of January 2024, cardholders can also earn a flight credit of up to $200 each year, though it requires a bit of effort to earn the whole amount.

What’s changed with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card?

Before January 2024, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card holders could receive up to $250 in statement credits annually for spending on airline fees and incidentals — but not for airfare directly. Terms apply.

Now, cardholders will receive a statement credit of up to $50 per quarter on airfare spending, meaning you could potentially receive up to $200 over the year. However, you won’t be able to earn credit anymore for things like in-flight Wi-Fi, baggage fees or seat upgrades.

This update reduces the flight benefit on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in three important ways.

  1. The overall flight benefit has been reduced from $250 to $200 per year.

  2. Instead of being able to receive the full statement credit from a single transaction, you are now limited to a maximum credit of $50 per quarter. This puts the burden on cardholders to remember to use the card for flights at least once a quarter.

  3. There are more restrictions on how you can use the card’s flight credit.

Even though the updated flight credit isn’t as valuable as the benefit previously offered by the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, it’s still a useful perk for travelers — especially those who fly often but don’t typically spend much on extras. It’s also a helpful way to offset the card’s $550 annual fee. Terms apply.

How the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card airline credit works

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card holders can receive up to $50 in statement credits each quarter for qualifying flight purchases, for a total of $200 each calendar year.

What are the quarters used for the $200 flight credit?

There are four time periods each year during which you can qualify for a $50 flight credit using your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card:

  • First quarter: January through March.

  • Second quarter: April through June.

  • Third quarter: July through September.

  • Fourth quarter: October through December.

To get the full $200 flight credit on the card, you’ll want to ensure that you make a qualifying flight purchase each quarter of the calendar year.

Qualifying purchases

Purchases made with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card that qualify for the $200 flight credit are:

  • Airfare purchases made directly with an airline (with limited exceptions, listed below).

  • Award travel charges (including taxes and fees) for award tickets purchased directly with an airline. 

  • Airfare purchases made with travel agents or third-party sites if the airfare is charged directly to the card.

Excluded purchases

Any purchase made with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card other than what’s listed above won’t qualify for the $200 flight credit. Below are some examples of unacceptable expenses:

  • Ticket cancellation fees.

  • In-flight food or drinks.

  • Cash equivalents (including travel credits purchased directly from the airline).

Additionally, charter flights, private jet flights and flights that are part of tours, cruises or travel packages don’t qualify for the card’s $200 flight credit.

What else you need to know

How long does it take for the flight credit to post to your account?

American Express states that you should allow eight to 12 weeks for the statement credit to post to your account after the date of purchase. That said, American Express flight credits typically post much quicker than that — sometimes in less than one week.

How can you tell if you’ve been given your flight credit?

American Express has a flight credit tracker on your account homepage that makes it easy to see if you’ve used your $50 quarterly flight credit. This is shown in the example below, which also shows how much you’ve received for the calendar year.

This tracker may also help remind you to use the $50 flight credit each quarter.

How to ensure you get the full $200 flight credit value

There are two steps you can take to help you receive the flight credit each quarter:

  1. Set up a quarterly calendar reminder on your phone. So you don’t forget to use the $50 quarterly flight credit, we recommend putting a calendar reminder in your phone on the first day of each quarter (repeating annually): Jan. 1, April 1, July 1, and Oct. 1. 

  2. Purchase a $50+ ticket directly with an airline that allows you to cancel and receive a credit. If you’re getting close to the end of a quarter and you haven’t purchased airfare yet, you can do so directly with an airline that provides travel credit for canceled trips. For example, tickets purchased with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines or American Airlines all give travel credit for canceled tickets that’s usually good to use for up to one year. Note that you’ll want to make sure the ticket that you’re purchasing qualifies for a flight credit if canceled (basic economy tickets, for example, may be excluded) and that you have plans to use the credit for a trip in the future. 

Taking these steps will help you get the full value of your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card flight credit.

The airline credit recapped

Although Hilton and American Express have reduced the flight credit value on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, you can still receive up to $200 annually — which helps offset the card’s high annual fee.

Statement credits can be earned on airfare purchases made directly with an airline or through amextravel.com, with a maximum of $50 granted per quarter.

We recommend putting a note in your calendar for the beginning of each quarter as a reminder to earn the statement credit.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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